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Lesson 6: How Did Constitutional Government Develop in Great Britain?


Feudal Europe: Ideas that Informed the American Founders   (Video)
From the ninth to about the fifteenth centuries, the feudal system dominated Europe. In this system, a politically weak monarch shared power with the nobility. Natural rights philosophy stood in stark contrast to this system.

The Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights: Rights, Part 1   (Video)
The struggle between the rights of the people and the power of government to deny those rights is one of the great themes of human history. This episode of 60-Second Civics explores two documents that limited the power of government in English history: the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights. These documents significantly influenced American conceptions of the limitations on the power of government.

Why Have a Bill of Rights?: Rights, Part 2   (Video)
The English Bill of Rights of 1689 was passed by Parliament, which means that Parliament can change it at any time. The American Bill of Rights, in contrast, is part of the U.S. Constitution, which is much more difficult to change, as are and states' bills of rights.